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Peri-implantitis is a common complication affecting about 26% of dental implants.  It is an inflammatory condition of the jaw bone surrounding a dental implant.

It is usually caused by oral bacteria although the precise mechanism for the initiation of this infection is unclear.  The usual tell-tale signs are gum bleeding with or without swelling but pain is uncommon and the affected implant and/or the dental crown or bridge it supports doesn’t often show any movement (mobility).  Your dentist or periodontist can make a definitive diagnosis through a detailed clinical examination together with radiographs (dental X-rays).

If undetected and untreated, peri-implantitis can continue to destroy jaw bone surrounding a dental implant until eventually the implant falls out together with the attached dental crown or bridge.    Treatment usually consists of mechanical debridement, use of topical oral antiseptics, systemic antibiotics with or without surgical treatment.  Unfortunately successful treatment cannot always be guaranteed.  The key to successful treatment is early detection and early intervention.  It is therefore strongly recommended to all patients receiving dental implant treatment to have their implant work checked annually.